Director: Kushan Nandy
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Bidita Bag, Jatin Goswami, Divya Dutta, Shraddha Das, Anil George, Bhagwan Tiwari, Murli Sharma, Jitu Shivhare, Navin Tyagi and Divya Dutta
Story and storytelling should always go hand in hand. If they don’t, the cinematic wheel cannot run smoothly and it will fall eventually. Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s Babumoshai Bandookbaaz is that wheel which falls due to the same reason. Except with the ending, the story of the movie is very interesting and to major extent, different but it’s the storytelling by director Kushan Nandy which fails to shine. The distorted pace of screenplay, abrupt closing of scenes and lack of power and intent in its core storytelling make it a disappointing movie.
Babumoshai Bandookbaaz is a story of Babu Bihari (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), who is a contract killer. He is brave and ruthless and that’s why he is the best in the business. He falls in love with Phulwa (Bidita Bag) and they start living together. During Babu’s contract killing, he meets Baake (Jatin Goswami) who is also a hitman and he admires Babu. He actually considers Nawaz as his mentor. But, things start getting convoluted when the same killing contract is given to both of them. Now, they compete with each other as to who kills more and wins the contract. But, this was never just about this contract. The game is bigger. So, who will win and who will die?
As I said, I liked the story of Babumoshai Bandookbaaz. It’s not a mafia story but about the lives of Contract Killers. How they live, their motivation to kill, constant dangers of getting killed by anyone, love, friendship and betrayal, it’s all inclusive in the script. The end of the story is a bit far-fetched and even unconvincing. Moreover, the dialogues of Babumoshai Bandookbaaz are hardly effective. It’s imperative to have engaging and brutal punches in this genre. Just some abusive words are not going to be make it memorable. Besides, when you have Nawazuddin in a film, it’s mandatory to include some incredible lines to make the movie engaging.
The real problem is the direction by Kushan Nandy. Babumoshai Bandookbaaz’s story moves with lots of ups and downs with its pace. It gets disturbing to connect with the narrative. Apart from the character of Babu Bihari, rest of the two, i.e. Baake and Phulwa were actually loose. Their scenario together is not really the highlight of the movie but it should have been.
Image Source: Movies By The Mob
There are so many shots which are the major twists in the film but the way they have been executed, take away all the cinematic fun and interest. The very turning point in the film which comes right before the intermission is handled very carelessly. Kushan Nandy also gives out many hints from the movie in its early stages with characters due to which the story becomes somewhat predictable afterwards.
The politicians shown in Babumoshai Bandookbaaz are very idiotic. They are not this dumb in real life. Just to glorify Babu Bihari in the film, they forgot to develop a good character of Jiji (Divya Dutta) and Dubey. These are the major drawbacks due to which you don’t feel any kind danger from these characters in the story. Nandy needed to strongly develop them. Surprisingly, the music of Babumoshai Bandookbaaz is amazing. It is highly appealing and goes very smoothly with the context.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is undoubtedly one of the best actors we have today. The passion and honesty he puts in the character is applaud-worthy. Gangster and killer have become his signature genres. With Gangs of Wasseypur and Raman Raghav 2.0, he has proved why he is the ultra-effective performer. Nawaz easily convinces in the role of a contract killer. He is funny, cunning and brutal. His attitude also changes when he meets Phulwa. He keeps that killer and smart aura throughout the movie and makes the film engaging. I loved his performance in second half more when he is on the revenge saga. There’s a different shade to his role where he doesn’t talk much as he was in the first half. It’s sad that the movie couldn’t do the justice to his impeccable performance.
Bidita Bag and Jatin Goswami have done a very good job. There’s a sense of mystery to Bidita’s role which she brings out nicely. She is fierce, giving an interesting touch to her character. Jatin Goswami is funny initially and his act as Nawaz’s chela (student) is good.
Babumoshai Bandookbaaz doesn’t live to its potential. The storytelling by Kushan Nandy fails to entice much interest. There are no strong character developments or potent dialogues which is disappointing. Even Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s impressive performance couldn’t save the film.